Survival Sam insisted that he and I get together for breakfast again this morning at the Café 23. Duane couldn’t be with us because he and his family were out of town for a family gathering.
“I’m glad for the chance to get together with you, Sam, but don’t you ever get tired of talking about survival and preparedness?” I asked. “I mean, it is the holidays after all.”
“Sure, but I don’t get tired of surviving.”
Sam could tell that I was a little perplexed by that one. I sat there with my fork poised over my eggs for a couple seconds.
“Look, we all need a break from time to time,” Sam said. “You know the old saying. ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’”
“Yeah, exactly,” I said. “So, what are you thinking?”
“Taking a break can mean getting away on vacation for a while, or it can mean taking ten minutes to think about something else. Getting a good night’s sleep can be all the break you need. You might wake up the next morning with a whole new perspective on things.”
“OK,” I said, “What else? There has to be more to it than that.”
Sam put down his coffee cup. “I love to read, and I read all kinds of things. For example, I might read a science fiction or fantasy story, or maybe a story for children in middle school. Why? Because it’s therapeutic for me. It offers something different to wrap my mind around. It gets me out of my present mental set.
“I think I’m beginning to see what you mean,” I said. “I have a good friend who likes to watch movies. He’s great at picking really good ones, too. Many of the older movies are the best.”
“Now you’re getting it,” Sam said. “It’s fun to show those old movies to others, too. Ever watch ‘A Tree Grows in
“Yeah, doesn’t the Bible say something about laughing being like medicine?” I asked.
“Yes, it’s in Proverbs ,” Sam said. “As you know, I’ve said often that survival is about attitude as much as having the right equipment. That’s what this is all about. For our own sanity, we have to take a break now and then.”
“Any other suggestions about what to do?”
“Just do something you really enjoy,” Sam said. You never know where it will lead. It might have applications for your own survival which you can’t see now. For example, a hobby could turn into a business for making extra cash or bartering during really hard times.”
“What about recreational activities?” I asked. Are they just a waste of time?”
“They don’t have to be,” Sam said. “taking a trip down to a nearby river might be educational for the family, as well as fun. Get to know your state parks and conservation areas. In fact, doesn’t the Camping Guy’s book on Camping 101 say something about that?” He sipped his coffee. “Or think about this. Riding a bicycle is not only good exercise, but also a great way to learn the geography of your surroundings. You’ll be surprised at how much you see that you miss when you’re driving. Or fly a kite and observe what the wind and clouds do on different days.”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve flown a kite,” I said. “Sounds like fun.”
“That’s the point,” Sam said. “Whatever activities you do, make them enjoyable. Get your mind in places it’s never been, or perhaps where it hasn’t been for a long time. You won’t regret it.”